Balancing the energy trilemma through the Energy Justice Metric

Raphael J. Heffron (Lead / Corresponding author), Darren McCauley, Gerardo Zarazua de Rubens

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    59 Citations (Scopus)
    991 Downloads (Pure)


    Energy justice is a fast emerging research and policy tool which captures the injustices across the energy life-cycle, i.e., from ‘cradle-to-grave’. The Energy Justice Metric (EJM) quantifies energy justice through analyzing the energy justice performance of different countries utilising data from international institutions and national governments. This paper identifies why there is a need for a modeling tool such as the EJM which focuses on the full energy life-cycle and also has a distributive (inequality-correcting) oriented approach. The EJM demonstrates how a country can achieve an improved balance between the three competing aims of the energy trilemma, i.e. economics, politics and the environment. A key feature of the EJM is modeling energy justice using a ternary plot where the energy justice performance of a country can be transferred directly onto the energy trilemma. In this paper, five countries are analysed, the US, UK, Germany, Denmark and Ireland. The EJM presents a research and policy decision-making tool that can contribute to the growing literature that tackles the issue of inequality in society, and informs on society's decision on which energy source would be more just for a society to build.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1191-1201
    Number of pages11
    JournalApplied Energy
    Early online date28 Aug 2018
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2018


    • Distributive justice
    • Energy economics
    • Energy justice
    • Energy justice metric
    • Energy trilemma
    • Societal inequality

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Building and Construction
    • General Energy
    • Mechanical Engineering
    • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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